UALR Athletic Director resigns after inappropriate comments
By Sarah Chaffin
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — UPDATE (8:50 p.m.) UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson released this statement Wednesday night regarding the resignation of Athletic Director Chris Peterson."Yesterday I received and accepted the resignation of Chris Peterson, UALR's Director of Athletics. In addition to complying with FOIA requests for information regarding his resignation, there have been several requests for an official statement.What one hears from the Director of Athletics on the live video transmission of the women's soccer game on August 22 is unacceptable for a person in a University leadership position. Director Peterson apologized for it and resigned. I am grateful for his contributions to the University and to the UALR Department of Athletics, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.I do not expect to comment further on this personnel matter.Today I began consultation regarding an appropriate choice for Interim Athletic Director and will begin meetings tomorrow with coaches and other Athletics Department personnel. Later this month we will announce plans for our search for a new Director.The student-athletes, the coaches, the fans, and all of us here at UALR are looking forward to a year of exciting competitions in the Sun Belt Conference and to the next chapter in Trojan Athletics."ORIGINAL REPORT (6:05 p.m.)Channel 7 News has received new information on the sudden resignation of UALR Athletic Director.Chris Peterson sent a letter to Chancellor Joel Anderson on Tuesday, stating, "I have been very blessed to spend the last 14 years working with outstanding student athletes and amazing coaches. I'm looking forward to beginning the next chapter in my life."The university provided video Wednesday of what may have lead to Peterson's resignation. It is a video of a webcast during the UALR women's soccer game against Chicago State. The university confirmed the voice heard is that of Chris Peterson.In the video, Peterson is heard making inappropriate comments about one of the player's mothers."Much curvier...yeah...she had her [edited] hanging out, too. You remember that? I got to make sure I don't...I gotta make sure we know when Parents Day is. I want to make sure I'm in town for the weekend...She had two of them and they were out there for display..."Peterson has responded to the video in a statement sent to Channel 7 News:"On Friday August 22nd I made insensitive remarks while visiting with some athletic department employees at a soccer game. My comments were picked up by an open microphone, unknowingly, making a private conversation public. I have apologized to the parties that may have been offended by my remarks and fully acknowledge my words were insensitive and out of line. I've learned a hard lesson. As I close this chapter, I know going forward that I'll be more thoughtful, sensitive and conscientious of my actions. What my future holds I cannot say, but I'm upbeat, optimistic and ready for the next chapter."The resignation letter given to UALR states that Peterson will leave September 15. The university has not given a statement about his resignation.
KATV ABC 7 in Little Rock, Arkansas covers news, sports, weather and the local community in the city and the surrounding area, including Hot Springs, Conway, Pine Bluff, Jacksonville, Sherwood, Stuttgart, Benton, Bauxite, East End, Scott, Pinnacle, Maumelle, Gibson, Landmark and Hensley.